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Saturday February 25, 1978
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This Day In 1970's History: Saturday February 25, 1978
  • Mine union leaders began a 10-day campaign to win members' approval of the three-year contract that was offered Friday by the coal industry under government pressure. The miners will vote on the contract March 6. Even if the contract terms are ratified and the strike ends on its 91st day, coal deliveries are not expected to be back to near normal until mid-March.

    "It's a yellow dog contract," a retired miner in West Virginia said of the coal industry's proposed contract. "Yellow dog" is an old labor epithet for contracts believed to have been dictated by employers. Dissatisfaction with the pension provisions is one of the reasons most miners in West Virginia say they will vote against the contract even before they have seen all of its provisions. [New York Times]

  • Harvard is debating a major overhaul of its undergraduate curriculum. Dean Henry Rosovsky of the faculty of arts and sciences proposes to abolish the general education program and replace it with a considerably less elective "core curriculum" to provide Harvard graduates with "basic literacy in major forms of intellectual discourse." His "Report on the Core Curriculum" would provide the basis for the biggest changes in undergraduate education at Harvard since the 1945 report on "General Education in a Free Society." The faculty will begin a formal debate on the new proposals March 14, and the discussions may have to take into account criticism that is already coming from students and others. [New York Times]
  • Prospects for healing the rift between white and black Americans may be more dismal now than they were 10 years ago, when a presidential panel known as the Kerner Commission said, "Our nation is moving toward two societies, one black, one white -- separate and unequal." The nation's 25 million blacks have made substantial gains in the last 10 years, but many community leaders, both black and white, see a bleak future for the millions of blacks unable to escape the ghettos. One of the facts most relevant to the black condition is the doubling of their unemployment rate in the last 10 years. [New York Times]
  • The United States cautioned the Soviet Union that relations with Washington could be impaired by continued Soviet military involvement in the conflict between Ethiopia and Somalia. The State Department statement was a response to a speech by Leonid Brezhnev, the Soviet leader, who said that improved relations were "blocked by all kinds of obstacles raised by the United States." [New York Times]
  • When a fire alarm rings in Malmo, Sweden, a fireman taps a computer terminal and a minute later gets back a description of potential hazards at the fire scene. The computer that stores the information is in Cleveland, Ohio. Despite the usefulness of such almost instant international communication, Sweden, along with France and West Germany, has adopted laws restricting the flow of computerized information about individuals across national borders. Some nations are seeking control over television programs beamed from foreign satellites directly into homes within their territory, others want changes in the allocation of the air waves to various forms of data transmission. The United States views the existing laws and pending treaties as a challenge, partly because it is the world's largest exporter of computers and communications equipment, and partly because its economy and government are based on the free flow of information. [New York Times]
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